Today I moderated a Twitter chat #SMCColumbus where we discussed Social Media Influencers. Here’s some of the highlights.
What’s a social media influencer?
Short definition: Someone who is active on a social media channel who are well respected and likely to be listened to.
Successful social media marketing isn’t simply about amassing thousands of followers, but instead precisely identifying the most influential members of your audience and recognizing them for their value. By directly engaging one influencer with exclusive opportunities, special offers, and unique content, you are indirectly engaging thousands of other people who are part of this influencer’s social sphere.
Keep in mind, the type of friends, fans and followers a brand amasses on social media sites matters more than the number. On average, approximately 1% of a site’s audience generates 20% of all its traffic through sharing of the brand’s content or site links with others. And these “influencers” drive an even higher share of conversion. These very important Internet users can directly influence 30% or more of overall end actions on brand websites by recommending the brand’s site, products or promotions to friends.
How do you measure the influence?
In my opinion, it depends on the specific media source of course.
- Blog- traffic as measured on sites like compete.com, Alexa.com.
- Twitter-followers are a good indicator of influence as well as number of times listed. After that, re-tweets. Services to help: Klout, PostRank
The most influential are not on just a single network, but across multiple networks. Just like a luxury product goes well with another luxury product, so do different social media channels. This way they take advantage of both Reach AND Frequency.
How do you find them?
1. Use reporting and traffic analysis tools to find out who your most influential followers are. Radian6 is a good option. The goal is to find which individuals are most actively sharing your brand’s links and messages.
2. Find out what motivates them. Are they seeking exposure and fame? Do they tend to share deals and discounts? Or do they prefer to share links to your branded entertainment content, like YouTube videos, social games and contests, or informational articles?
3. Engage your fans and followers around what they like about your brand and products, why they like it, what they’d like to see improved, and what types of opportunities and offers they’d be most interested in receiving. Just be authentic and don’t sell. Because if you overly “sell” to your influencers, you’ll burn a bridge and potentially turn your biggest fans into your worst enemies. Be personalized. Be authentic.
What are the key mistakes when targeting influencers and how to avoid them?
First, you need to appeal to them. If you want them to do something, you need to give them an idea of what’s in it for them, without being offensively obvious about it. The fact is that you need their help more than they need yours, so you have to be political about it. Secondly, a canned message rarely works. If you truly want to get them on your side, you better let them know that you actually are a fan and know what they are about.
Here’s some additional feedback:
@MatthewRusso: A SoMe Influencer iuses their active audience to distribute timely, useful content and messages to make a difference. Quantity breeds quality. You have to put SOMETHING out to start engaging. Without access, no opportunity for a connection. Finding SoMe influences depends on the goals of a campaign. Targeted niches might be best, but sheer volume may also work. You never know what will work until you try it first. Then you can refine/adjust based on feedback. My local presence has grown due to the in-person meetups I mentioned earlier. Connecting offline has been key.
@nxtconcepts: An Influencer is someone who identifies their advocates and recognizes them for their value and contributions. We try to keep in mind that we need Social Media Influencers help, more than they need ours.
@tonnishaenglish: I would measure their influence by the ppl they attract & the way they make a difference. I would rather ONE follower I am engaged with & making a difference for than have ONE MILLION & do nothing. Also, if you don’t know who/what your target is, how can you aim for/at anything? That could lead to mistake #1.